Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced that Taste NY Farm Markets will begin at New York State Thruway service areas for the 2019 season on Monday, April 1.
The Taste NY Farm Markets will promote the world-class food and beverage products found around the State. The Thruway Authority and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are continuing this annual offering of the finest locally grown produce from New York's farms.
"Taste NY is an economic engine in every corner of the state and has expanded New York's booming agriculture industry," Governor Cuomo said. "These farm markets at Thruway service areas will provide farmers and producers a unique opportunity to showcase their products to millions of tourists, supporting the growth of farms and small businesses across the Empire State."
"From maple syrup, to dairy, to fruits and vegetables, New York produces an amazing variety of high-quality agricultural products," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Our Taste NY program showcases the best we have to offer, and we are looking forward to another season providing travelers with fresh, locally-grown products at stops along the Thruway."
The New York State Thruway features outdoor farm market locations at service areas across its 570-mile system. In 2018, a dozen local producers from regions across New York State participated in the markets at 20 service areas, reaching millions of visitors who travel the Thruway throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall.
Customers will have access to locally grown fruit, vegetables, honey, maple syrup, nuts, butter, cheese and more depending on availability. Only produce grown or produced in New York State may be sold. Market days and hours of operation are dependent on product availability and weather.
Motorists are encouraged to visit thruway.ny.gov for locations, hours, participating farms and available products.
Genesee County vendors interested in selling food products at Taste NY Farm Markets should email [email protected] for more information on how to participate this season.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said, "We thank Governor Cuomo and Executive Director Driscoll for supporting Taste NY and providing our farmers and producers with a platform to showcase their top-notch products and reach new markets.
"The start of the farm market season is a reminder of our rich and longstanding tradition of agriculture and its economic impact in New York State."
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Our service areas offer a unique setting which can reach millions of people from across the state, country, and world. The Thruway Authority is proud to support the Taste NY initiative by providing a venue where our local farmers and producers can sell their goods to the traveling public."
About Taste NY
The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013 by Governor Cuomo. The program reported sales of $1.5 million in 2014, tripled those figures to $4.5 million in 2015, and $13.1 million in 2016.
In 2017, Taste NY saw producer sales grow to a record $16.1 million. Taste NY, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park.
It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY's food and beverage businesses also support the State's farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.
Today, New York products sold under Taste NY branding are available in more than 70 locations throughout the State as well as the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism in San Juan, Puerto Rico.